When I was diagnosed with diabetes, it was 1993 and I was a 20 years old student; living the typical student life. That all changed with diabetes. For a very long time I only knew what I absolutely needed to know about diabetes to survive. I fought it but not in a good way. My attitude was that diabetes was not going to get in my way! My friends and family would ask about it and how I was getting on, I replied “fine”. I had no idea of how I was doing, health wise, my medical team didn’t talk my language, I didn’t asked questions, and I didn’t want to be there.
What changed? I met my now husband who had decided I was worth having around for a long time, and convinced me I was worth it.
I started internet searching for information on diabetes to give to him and I started learning about diabetes for myself. Things like how exercise affects my blood sugars, about how insulin works once I inject and how food affects that process and lots, lots more. I even met another person who had type 1 diabetes who I couldn't push away because she was the wife of my husband’s friend.
Through this friendship, I realised how important it was for me to have people my own age around me who knew what having diabetes felt like.
I’ve come a long way since then. I started a support group for people with type 1 diabetes in my home town in 2007 and my diabetes family has grown quite a bit. People call me with their stories and I listen, hoping that in some way I'm helping them. I wished that I had had someone I could’ve talk to in the beginning but knowledge about diabetes was poor back then.
Now, I want to inspire people to go out in search of the knowledge they need to live a great life with diabetes. I want to encourage people to start reading the numerous books on the subject and to find other people with diabetes on the internet or in their area. More and more supports groups are forming around the country and if you don’t have one in your town yet then find us on the internet. We’re here!